Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/919/23688
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016
Furious Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike action
Durham TAs at the Tory party conference demo on 2 October 2016 photo Durham TAs/Twitter (Click to enlarge)
Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party
Teaching assistants (TAs) in Durham are furious at the Labour council's plans to 'chop and drop' them. If these proposals go ahead 2,700 TA's will be sacked, then rehired on 23% less pay as they will only be paid during term time.
The same council which is intent on slashing TAs wages was ridiculed by David Cameron for shamefully paying senior councillors thousands in a special clothing allowance.
Unison members, who make up the bulk of the TAs, voted to reject a compensation deal - which offers compensation for two years, instead of one. Belatedly Unison is now to launch a ballot for strike action.
The predominantly women TAs have packed out recent meetings to defend their terms and conditions. At these meetings it is clear that alongside fury at the Labour council, there is also anger at their unions who have 'dragged their feet'. TAs feel they are fighting on two fronts - against the council and their unions.
Disgracefully, no Unison or GMB officials who are overseeing this dispute attended these grassroots meetings. However, the campaign has gained the support of Jeremy Corbyn, who gave the stark warning to Durham City Council to 'get this sorted'.
The TAs under attack have laid out why they cannot accept this massive pay cut when they are already poorly paid. Already one TA has sold her home as she feared she would no longer be able to keep up her mortgage payments. Others have said if these plans go ahead they will be forced to give up the job they love and look for alternative employment.
However, it is clear the Durham TAs are prepared to fight - messages of support can be sent to: email@example.com and to contribute to the Durham TAs' fund visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/CountyDurhamTeachingAssistants
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 5 October 2016:
What we think
Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement
Socialist Party news and analysis
Come to Socialism 2016!
Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!
Asos workers fear taking toilet breaks, sacked for panic attacks
UK workers born in early 1980s half as wealthy as those born in 1970s
Millions have less than £100 savings
Them & Us
What we saw
Black History Month
Fighting racism today
Workplace news and analysis
RMT president Sean Hoyle speaks to the Socialist
Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike
Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination
London Met strike against job cuts and victimisation
Workplace news in brief
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Corbyn's praise for Cardiff Labour is mistaken
Review: where you live can kill you
Review: international jazz protest storytelling
The Socialist inbox
Socialist ideas - winning a new generation of students
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Thousands march against Tory conference
Protests against children's centre closures in Bolton
Why I joined the Socialist Party
Fighting fund record smashed again!
Leeds: Solidarity demo with Irish abortion fight
London: Socialism Today milestone celebration
Worcester: Public meeting discusses Corbyn
International socialist news and analysis
Poland: Fighting back against anti-abortion law
Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment!
Joint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI
The Socialist 5 October 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook